Mascitti To Lead Hawks in 2021

The Box Hill Hawks are pleased to confirm Damian Mascitti will captain the Club in season 2021, leading a new-look Hawks into an exciting new frontier.

A veteran of 102 VFL matches, the announcement sees the 28-year-old retain the role he first held in 2020.

It will be Mascitti’s third campaign at City Oval, having traded the blue and red of Port Melbourne for the brown and gold of Box Hill on the eve of the 2019 season.

“It’s a massive privilege,” Mascitti said of being named captain.

“Looking at some of the names who have captained this Club, I’m honoured and humbled by the opportunity to follow in their footsteps.”

A former Oakleigh Charger, Mascitti has already forged a strong bond with Senior Coach Sam Mitchell, and the latter informed him just prior to the Club’s pre-season camp in Gippsland that he was the man to lead this group.

“Sam told me before the camp and it was formally announced to the group on our first night.

“It was a great moment to share with all the boys, the coaches and staff.”

As for his early impressions of and experiences under his new coach, Mascitti recognises a man of Sam Mitchell’s experience represents a unique resource – one he’s keen to tap into at every opportunity.

“’Mitch’ has been awesome so far. Having captained at AFL level – at a successful Club, too – he’s definitely someone I’ll lean on or turn to as a mentor.

“We’ve got a really good relationship; we’re open with one another and I’m looking forward to working with and learning from him.”

For his part, Mitchell said the process of establishing the Club’s new leadership group could only start with one name.

“More than being the incumbent, Damian was the obvious choice from day one of pre-season,” he said.

“I’ve admired ‘Damo’ from afar and in the short time we’ve worked together I couldn’t be more impressed by his attitude, his preparation and the example he sets on and off the field.

“His experience at this level is an invaluable asset for our group and it’s no secret or surprise that he has the respect of his teammates, coaches and staff.”

Captain and coach will work together over the coming weeks to identify and finalise the Club’s 2021 leadership group.

“We’ll be after a blend of experience,” Mascitti said.

“People who have been around the game for a few years – whether that’s at Box Hill or on AFL lists – and who’ll offer different perspectives and their own trademarks to our leadership model.

“Our group will be one that rewards good behaviors and actions, while challenging each other when we need to. I believe that’s how good leadership groups function.

“We’ll be a team in which everyone does their bit, whether they’re a leader or a first-year player. Ultimately everyone has strengths, so let’s lean into and use those to make us better.”

Regarding the coming season, Mascitti says belief among the playing group is growing that it can be a special one.

“(Our expectations) are high. Our coaches have been outstanding, and they keep saying we’re a really coachable group, so I think we’re in a good spot.

“We’re excited that footy is back and we’re in a new competition, but more so because we’ve brought in some quality recruits to go with some talented kids.

“I think we’ve got a fantastic mix and we’ll have a good year.”

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